CEO Leadership Series – Cassy Aite from Desk Nibbles

Nov 6, 2018

With a goal of “Making Work Happier”, Desk Nibbles was created in 2016 to provide an easy and innovative snacking service for the workplace. How do they do it? First, they learn about your team and it’s snacking needs – any dietary restrictions, tastes, and preferences are taken into account. Based on this information they customize a snack order and either stock your company kitchen or deliver customized snack boxes right to your door. Less time ordering food means more time eating it!

We asked CEO Cassy Aite some questions in order to gain some insight into the mind of an entrepreneur. Here’s what he had to say:

Top 20 Questions

  1. Your best/worst subject in school?

Best: English

Worst: Music

  1. What was your first job?

Landscaping / Hedge trimming

  1. Best advice you ever took?

“Alegria alegria”…

My Bolivian Abuelita (grandmother) would say this when my brother Emil or I would spill something. It means joy or to cheer up. She taught us to not sweat the small stuff and to take a patient and logical approach to finding solutions to things

  1. Tip you would share with this year’s graduating class?

Don’t be afraid to fail and try things out. Whether it is a new career, business, or anything else, you should always be learning.

  1. What book are you currently reading?

The High Growth Handbook by Elad Gil

  1. Favorite quote?

“Sucking at something is the first step to becoming sorta good at something” – Jake The Dog

  1. One thing that surprises you about business?

Not many people want to do the repetitive stuff that is hard, but it is the repetitive stuff that makes you successful. It’s like training for a marathon.

  1. What motivates you?

Seeing people achieve things they didn’t think they could achieve.

  1. When was the last time you worked a 40-hour work week?

When I was 15. I realized at that point how valuable education and learning was. My parents both came from 3rd world countries to Europe and then to Canada for me and my brother.

I realized how hard they had worked to create greater opportunity for us. That was powerful.

  1. What is the best (most recent) feedback you received from one of your employees?

It was advice to my brother on his birthday. Emil (my brother) said “I feel like I’m getting old.” One of our coop students and youngest team member turned to him and said, “If you aren’t getting older, then you aren’t getting wiser”

  1. When are you most productive?

At 5:00-6:00 in the morning or late at night when no one else is awake.

  1. Best thing about being a CEO?

Seeing people on your team achieve things they didn’t think they could achieve before.

  1. Most challenging thing about being a CEO?

I wish there were more hours in a day. We’re having too much fun!

  1. What is one word that describes your leadership style?

Encouraging

  1. Fill in the blank: you have _________ in your office?  

Fun.

  1. An experience that has influenced you the most as a leader?

Having great mentors in many stages of my life. I cannot choose just one experience.

  1. A CEO that inspires you?

It’s so tough to name just one. Great leaders that have inspired me include Vincenzo Morabito, Charles Munger, Kim Scott, Jeff Bezos, David Cancel, Warren Buffet, Nazim Ahmed, Adrian Salamunovic.

  1. If you weren’t a CEO you would be a

Advisor focused on sales/growth.

  1. An organization that you always make time for?

Younger entrepreneurs that are looking for help.

  1. Favorite app?

Reddit

More questions for Cassy

Where did the idea for Desk Nibbles come from?

Emil worked at a few companies that offered great food programs but he saw how difficult it was to manage. Managing the needs of 100+ people is challenging, and he thought we could build software to better meet the needs of each employee in an efficient way.

When you speak to future entrepreneurs about building a business, what would you say is the hardest part?

Going from 0-60. Don’t be afraid to go out there, try things, experiment, and learn. Just go do it! In 99% of cases you don’t need $1M to build an MVP or validate an idea.

What would you say has been the most exciting part for you to date?

Building an amazing team of people and seeing that team work together. Sometimes I’ll walk into the office or join a video call and hear really smart people solving challenging problems and it’s incredible to see that.

What are the top three qualities that you look for when hiring for your team?

Infinite learning mindset, curiosity, a pleasant/genuine person

What was your first HR “ah ha” moment as a CEO?

Day 1, talking to prospects/customers about their challenges.

What is something unique that companies can do to demonstrate their appreciation for their top performers?

We do a weekly show and tell meeting and before the meeting starts each team member hits a giant gong to celebrate a team member’s win. Oh, and some of the managers will dress up in a bunny or carrot costume.

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